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Pro-marriage advocates must show love to all, "especially...those who disagree with us on this issue, and most of all, for those who are hostile toward us,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told the 2014 March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Archbishop on marriage debate: ‘Love is the answer. But love in the truth.’

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told several thousand attendees at the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. Thursday to rely on love as they fight for marriage.

"The truth is that every child comes from a mother and a father, and to deliberately deprive a child of knowing and being loved by his or her mother and father is an outright injustice."

The “foundational truth” that marriage "unites children to the mothers and fathers who bring them into the world" must be "proclaim[ed] with love," he said. Love should be shown to all, "especially...those who disagree with us on this issue, and most of all, for those who are hostile toward us,” he added.

"Love is the answer.  But love in the truth," the archbishop said. "The truth is that every child comes from a mother and a father, and to deliberately deprive a child of knowing and being loved by his or her mother and father is an outright injustice."

"That is our very nature, and no law can change it," he continued. "Those with temporal power over us might choose to change the definition of marriage in the law even against all that we have accomplished through very generous participation in the democratic process, but our nature does not change.  If the law does not correspond to our nature, such that there is a conflict between the law and nature, guess which will prevail?  And people will figure it out."

Speaking with LifeSiteNews after his speech, Cordileone said, "In nature, a child comes from the union of a man and a woman. So if we care about what's best for the child, we should do everything we can to allow that to happen in our society."

"Life, love, marriage -- they all go together,” he added.

When asked about the letter he received from numerous politicians asking him to not attend the March, Cordileone -- who wrote a rebuttal to his critics -- said he thinks that while it’s "appropriate for [critics] to take a public stand -- they're public leaders,” he believes "it would have been more appropriate to send me a private letter."

In his address at the March, the archbishop cautioned activists "not to paint our opponents on this issue with broad strokes. There is a tendency in our culture to do this to groups of people the powerful don’t know and think they don’t like. We must not do that."

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"We must recognize that there are people on the other side of this debate who are of good will and are sincerely trying to promote what they think is right and fair.  It is misdirected good will.  But even those from whom we suffer retribution – and I know some of you have suffered in very serious ways because of your stand for marriage – still, we must love them," said Cordileone.  “That is what our ancestors in faith did, and we must, too."

The archbishop said the pro-marriage movement should take hope from the pro-life movement's recent successes. "Back in the early 1970’s, just before the Court issued its infamous Roe vs. Wade ruling, public support for abortion was growing rapidly," he said. "And as with marriage redefinition today, a generation gap opened up in the polls, leading many to predict that opposition to abortion would literally die off.  That was the future; before long, it would not even be an issue."

"Instead, something unexpected happened.  A relatively small band of faithful believers held the line on the sanctity of human life in the womb, and today, two generations later, the pro-life movement is flourishing like never before.  We now have the most pro-life generation of young adults since the infamous Roe decision."

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